15 Things to Do and See at Art Basel Miami Beach

15 Things to Do and See at Art Basel Miami Beach

December is among us, which for a certain crowd of artists, travelers, collectors, writers, publicists, photographers and yes, influencers, can only mean one thing: Art Basel Miami Beach. Whether you're heading to the famous fair for the first time with eyes wide open or a groggy-eyed veteran ready to ditch the whole thing (but still going), here are 15 things to do and see this year:

"Darker Gods in The Garden of The Low Hanging Heavens"

Damon Davis

Acclaimed artist Damon Davis's debut Miami Art Basel show, Darker Gods in The Garden of The Low Hanging Heavens, calls attention to western fears of and obsessions with blackness. In the multipart afro-surrealist project, Davis creates modern myths and fables using sound, photography, film, illustration and the written word to tell the story of 11 deities "whose superhuman characteristics come from negative tropes and cultural ideas of Blackness." In partnership with Smoke Signals Studio and Black Lives Matter.

On display Wednesday, December 5 - Sunday, December 9
6300 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL, 33150
Gallery Hours: 10AM - 5PM
Free and open to the public

The Dean Collection

No Collection: Miami 2018 is themed "Take the Shot" with a primary focus on photography. In collaboration with The Dean Collection and Bacardi, No Commission invited photographers around the country to submit their work for consideration. Past editions of No Commission, a platform created by Swizz Beatz, Bacardi and The Dean Collection to support emerging artists around the world, have seen 100% of proceeds from artworks sold retained by the artists themselves.

Faena Forum
3201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach FL, 33140
Thursday, December 6-Friday, December 7

Daniel Arsham Monograph Reception and Book Signing 

Daniel Arsham, the acclaimed artist and co-founder of experimental design studio Snarkitecture, will be signing limited copies of his book, MONOCHROME, at The Miami Beach Edition. The artist, known mostly for his reconstructions of found items, was fitted last year with special lenses correcting the color blindness that has resulted in most of his work being done in greyscale. It's a new era for the artist.

Daniel Arsham x Rizzoli Book Signing
Lobby, The Miami Beach EDITION
2901 Collins Avenue
Thursday, December 6, 5pm-7pm
Free and open to the public

"He Calls This Talk Banter" by Zoe Buckman

Artist Zoe Buckman will present a three part original work, "He Calls This Talk Banter," addressing sexual violence and the domestic sphere. The context for each piece is:

  • Inaction is Apathy uses text from a piece of writing the artist did following the murder of Nia Wilson. The embroidered work on a vintage tea towel was then made into a billboard with For Freedoms.
  • He calls this talk banter addresses the idea of so-called locker-room talk, and examines the complicated behavior and lack of accountability by men in today's rape culture.
  • "is everything okay back there, Miss?" speaks to the collective experience of women, and normalizing of violence in our society.

The Gardens at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach
40 Island Avenue, Miami, FL
Thursday, December 6th, 6pm - 8pm
Partial proceeds from sale of the pieces will go to Miami's Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center.


RAW POP UP is at Art Basel this year with a series of events created by "a collective of creators pioneering the Interactive Art Movement (IAM) through multisensory pop up experiences of art, music, technology, and performance art with lasting cultural impact." With a focus on active participation rather than passive consumption of art in the traditional gallery space, this edition of the event is taking place in an abandoned department store in downtown Miami. The 43,000 square foot space has been transformed into an exploratory environment with a heavy dose of nostalgia, culminating in a dystopian nightclub experience.

Click here for the full list of events and collaborators.

Talk: A Sense of Place 

Design Miami will host a talk called: A Sense of Place: The African American Home at the Intersection of Art, Design and Culture, presented by Pin-Up Magazine and USC Architecture. Speakers include Dean Milton Curry of USC, Asad Syrkett, the Deputy Editor of Curbed, and Naima J. Keith, the Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the California African American Museum to discuss the relationship between American history and race.

Friday, December 7, 11am-12pm

Click here for more information.

L'OBJET Haas Brothers Pop-Up 

The debut of the collaboration between luxury lifestyle brand L'OBJET and artists The Haas Brothers is presented at a pop-up shop in The Bass Museum. The Joshua Tree-inspired collection includes tableware, home décor, textiles and fragrance referencing characters and creatures that bring together beauty and function.

The Bass Museum
2100 Collins Avenue
Through December 9, 10am-5pm
Select few pieces available online: www.l-objet.com/haas

Little Haiti Art Week

Avoid the oversaturated, overcrowded fairs and head to the heart of Little Haiti for the neighborhood's annual satellite art fair, Art Beat Miami. Presented by the Little Haiti Optimist Foundation and the Northeast Second Avenue Partnership (NE2P), the fair showcases emerging and well-known artists from Haiti and the Caribbean Diaspora around the world.

December 3-10

Click here for a map of participating galleries and here for a list of events.

​(RED) Charity Auction

Bono teamed up with art and architecture stars Theaster Gates and Sir David Adjaye to curate the third (RED) Auction in support of the on-going fight against AIDS. The collection up for auction is comprised of contemporary art and design and centered on themes of light and the color red. In addition to Sotheby's live auction in Miami on December 5, there will be a complementary online auction open for bidding from through December 6.

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse

Whether it's your first time to Basel or you're a returning visitor to the fair, The Margulies Collection — a non-profit institution whose collection is curated by Katherine Hinds — has added a new 5,000 square foot addition to its 45,000 square foot warehouse space for Art Basel and warrants a trip to see its iconic collection.

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse
591 NW 27th St, Miami, FL 33127
Extended Art Basel Hours:
Mon Dec 3 thru Sat Dec 8, 9pm - 5pm
Sun Dec 9, 9am - 2pm
Admission: Adults, $10; Students, $5

Prada Mode Pop-Up Nightclub

PRIVATE_Prada Opens Prada Mode Miami

Dip into the Freehand Hotel for a reprieve from the masses and enter the luxury world of Prada. The "Prada Mode" event, from December 4-6, is the brand's pop-up nightclub dedicated to art with two days of concerts and exhibitions. In partnership with artist Theaster Gates — who also curated the above (RED) Auction — will have a range of experiences including experimental performance art and DJ sets.

Rubell Family Collection

A classic pit stop at Art Basel Miami is a visit to the Rubell family's extensive collection. Instrumental in Art Basel's decision to hold its American event in Miami, the Rubell family's status as a fixture of both the art world and specifically the yearly festival makes stopping by their impressive collection a must do. In addition to their 40,000 volume archive, this year the museum is hosting the #FACES portrait series, created by Juliana Aragao and Messi Schneider to portray beauty from around the world. 10% of all revenue from this project will be donated to "A Arte Salva."

Rubell Family Collection Contemporary Arts Foundation
95 NW 29 ST, Miami, FL 33127
Open: Saturday Nov 30-Sunday, Dec 9th 9am-6pm
Free Admission

The Inaugural Faena Festival: This Is Not America

Faena Art has launches a multidisciplinary festival, "This Is Not America," tied to Miami's role as a port city welcoming migrants, refugees and tourists from both America and the rest of the world. This festival-within-a-festival engages with the wide-ranging communities and cultures that have contributed to the rich history of the Americas.

December 3-9
All programming is free and open to the public.
Click here for more information.

Pantone Color of the Year Pop Up

Pantone's answer to 29Rooms or the Museum of Ice Cream is a pop-up installation created with indie hotel brand Tribute Portfolio to celebrate the iconic brand's 20th anniversary of Color of the Year. Head to the Royal Palm South Beach Hotel for a fully immersive sensory experience of the 2019 color (coral - fun!). The pop-up reimagines a traditional hotel in full monochrome, with animations and music by LSD (Diplo, Sia and Labrinth's supergroup). Pop psychedelia perfect for Instagram.

Royal Palm South Beach Miami
1545 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Dec 7, 10am-5pm
Free to the public


"RE-THINK" is an immersive sustainable art event created in partnership by Istituto Marangoni Miami (IMM) and Arcadia Earth. The projects targets the art, fashion and technology communities to engage in environmental issues and consider simple daily actionable solutions through augmented reality, experiential installations and curated educational talks and panels.

3740 2nd Ave, Miami

Free and open to the public

Splash photo courtesy Pantone